by Satish Raju - Founder & Director of Guru Media & Entertainment Group of Companies.

Our world is a sensory one. The five senses of smell, hearing, taste, touch, and visual allow us to justify our thoughts. They give purpose to what we seek. This understanding has allowed many brands release campaign after campaign to influence our behaviour.

However, with explosion of digital, the predominant trend has been to capture attention using a more visual approach. And SOUND is an integral part of the visual medium. Except for a handful of brands, the sensory of SOUND has not been creatively explored much.

Herein lies the opportunity for every #StartUp. It’s a level playing field, if you get it right and achieve differentiation amongst established players.

Much like visuals, sound isn’t restricted by the limitations of language. Sound is a metaphor for emotion, one that as humans we are pre-wired to understand. Our brain is registering sound 24/7. It never turns off that sense. The sense of sound triggers memory just like taste & visual. Sounds, songs and jingles time stamp our memories. Sound takes us back and helps us to make sense of our world.

Getting your audience to identify to the “sound” of your brand is an integral part of the brand experience, yet is often overlooked. It adds yet another opportunity for the brand to interact with people. “Sound-Branding” cannot only improve a product’s recall; it can become a primary brand signal, a possible infusion to their emotion.

While the sound can improve the usability of a product by guiding the user through a series of actions we obviously cannot guide consumers’ perceptions of both a product and a brand. But by syncing the auditory brand signal, a brand can manage consumers’ connection. This makes it vital for brands to create sounds that work with the total brand experience, echoing the values and aesthetic. The highest possibility is to create a sound that’s part of their consumer’s life! A classic example is the 80’s soap bar creative by Lyril’s “Laaa…la…la…la…la…” mouthed in their commercial. Still sung by many in the shower!

On a category level, video games are a great example of the effective use of sound experience. The action sounds of the interface helps user’s to navigate setup and enhances play. On a brand level, proprietary sounds provide the same level of guidance. The Nokia ring-tone or “Nokia tune”… is an iconic sound that is so distinct that you are able to identify the brand without ever having to “see” the brand. Each sound equates to its respective brand.

With the kind of expansion that technology and digital marketing is taking it becomes every creative heads responsibility to bring the power of sound to the brands personality.

And sound branding is not just about that musical jingle when you show your logo. Sound is an opportunity to communicate and differentiate because it provides an opportunity to interact even when no one is looking. Sound design is not just limited to electronic brands. Even household products such as glass cleaner, ball point pens, or a can of processed food all have an opportunity to link a proprietary sound and experience. The action of opening a package, dispensing a product or to squeezing that trigger on the juice bottle all could transform kinetic energy into sound. Because sound is the direct result of a physical action, the sound can, over time, become your brand property.

Customers have started expecting something interactive from the brands they love. And Boy! now more than ever they want brands to woo them. Impress them before they can give you their attention. Brands will increasingly need to leverage the auditory experience as well as the visual. Those who start now will have an advantage over the competition. And every small detail matter.

You “HEAR” that, Entrepreneur? 🙂


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